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Titanic Sank Due to Astronomical Conjunction

Titanic Sank Due to Astronomical Conjunction


It is clear that the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg on April 14, 1912, but there is still discussion on the circumstances surrounding the accident. New research, to be published in April in Sky & Telescope magazine, sheds light on a crucial fact: why were there so many icebergs in that part of the North Atlantic, already in spring?

Donald Olson, of the Texas State University and co-author of the study, offers an explanation: “Of course, the ultimate cause of the accident was that the ship struck an iceberg. The Titanic failed to slow down, even after having received several wireless messages warning of ice ahead. They went full speed into a region with icebergs—that’s really what sank the ship – but the lunar connection may explain how an unusually large number of icebergs got into the path of the Titanic.”

It all started on January 4, 1912. That day happened something that would cause icebergs to separate from Greenland and move into the ship’s route. Olsen continues: “It was the closest approach of the moon to the Earth in more than 1,400 years, and this configuration maximized the moon’s tide-raising forces on Earth’s oceans.”

In addition to this, another rare phenomenon happened the day before: the closest approach to sun of the year. All these resulted in the development of an unusually high tide that freed the icebergs and allowed them to move southward without obstacle.

So, besides the fact that Captain Edward Smith, ignored the risk of colliding icebergs despite being warned, the incorrect presumption that the ship was “unsinkable” and the lack of security measures, now we can also conclude that the sun and the moon too were to blame for this infamous disaster.

Source: Reuters, The Press Association, Texas State University

Picture: Willy Stöwer

Jaime Menchén
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